Friday, June 05, 2015
My Boy's New Adventure
I made the decision to find a new home for Archie. And I did it for the wild birds.
It wasn't an easy decision to make but it is the consequence of the decision I made a year ago to let him outside. Within days, he went from being my sweet little boy to being a wild man. He LOVES it outside, that's where he wants to be. Sure, when it's raining or snowing, he's content to be inside snuggled up on his blanket in the living room or sharing Nana's reclining chair upstairs but he really, really likes being outside.
The problem is we really, really like the wild birds. And we've missed feeding them all over the property since we took in Fern, a stray cat, and she began roaming our property in 2012.
So I've been unhappy for the past year, in conflict about my decision and angry with myself for going against what my heart wanted. I wanted him to be an indoor cat but with Fern going outside, we could see the itch in Archie to be outside. It appeared that he simply wanted to be where his family was, on the back deck or in the gardens, so I thought perhaps he'd hang out with us and not be a bother to the birds and the squirrels.
Ha! When I'm wrong, I'm colossally wrong. Sure, he comes when he's called -- but only if he's not roaming the shore of the river on the other side of the road.
When he showed up with a female hummingbird in his mouth last Sunday morning, it was the last straw. They hummingbirds were already struggling with the cold and it wasn't fair for them to have a cat leaping at them -- leaping at them! -- while they were sitting at the feeder. I emailed a friend of mine who was looking for a mostly-outdoor cat to keep the rodent population down in her barn and she picked him up this morning. Archie is off on a new adventure with two lovely people, a dog named Abby (no new name to learn there), and two horses. It relieved me to hear my friend's first words when she walked into my house: "I plan to keep him inside for a couple of days so he can get used to his new place." That's exactly what I needed to hear to erase any lingering doubts this was the right way to fix a wrong decision.
I'm both heartbroken and relieved about rehoming Archie. He was exactly what I wanted in a cat: a marmalade boy, friendly, snuggly, really part of the family. I'm going to miss his little furry body pressed up against mine in bed. But at the same time, I'm relieved that the wild birds and the squirrels are safe. Fern has a problem with one of her kidneys so she isn't well and she has chilled out; she seems to prefer hanging out watching the birds now instead of chasing them down. And she doesn't need to do that anymore; she no longer has to hunt to feed herself. Archie, on the other hand, lives to hunt. It's a game to him so he is now living where his skills will be appreciated, not cursed.
I am going to miss this boy; I was madly in love with him. Hopefully soon, being mad at myself for losing him to the great outdoors will fade and it won't hurt to know I an the reason he gets to be someone's else boy now.